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Agbeko-Mares Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All Press Conference Quotes and Photos
Photos by: Tom Casino/SHOWTIME
Captions 001-004: Joseph King Kong Agbeko, Abner Mares and their promoters, includingDon King, took part in a press conference Thursday to promote The Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All on Saturday, Aug.13,live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast) from The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. Agbeko'sInternational Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight championship belt is also on the line.
The Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All
JOSEPH KING KONG AGBEKO,
ABNER MARES PRESS CONFERENCE
QUOTES AND PHOTOS
SATURDAY, AUG. 13, 2011, AT HARD ROCK HOTEL & CASINO
LAS VEGAS - LIVE ON SHOWTIME®
LAS VEGAS, NEV., (July 14, 2011) - Just steps away from where all the action will take place one month from now at The Joint at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino, Joseph King Kong Agbeko and Abner Mares took part in a spirited press conference Thursday at Muse Hall.
The press conference was well attended by a group of Las Vegas' finest boxing media who heard from both fighters and their camps and promoters, including the legendary Don King, who waved flags for both Ghana and Mexico while heaping praise on Agbeko.
International Boxing Federation (IBF) bantamweight champion Agbeko takes on undefeated rising star and World Boxing Council (WBC) Silver 118-pound titleholder Maresin The Bantamweight Tournament Final: Winner Takes All on Saturday, Aug. 13, live on SHOWTIME (10 p.m. ET/PT, delayed on the West Coast).
"With the type of fight this will be, it's proper for this fight to be at a place called Hard Rock," King said.
Here are what the fighters and their promoters had to say on Thursday:
Joseph King Kong Agbeko:
"I had my first fight in Vegas at Hard Rock and won by KO. I'm happy to be back.
"I want to thank Abner Mares and his team for their patience. It's going to be a great fight.
"I thank SHOWTIME for this tournament. It will make me the best 118-pounder in the world when I win on Aug. 13.
"My prediction is that the announcer will say "And STILL IBF bantamweight champion of the world...
"I love fighting boxers over fighters because boxers use their brain. This will be a good fight.
"I know that we have both fought Vic (Darchinyan) and Yonnhy (Perez). He survived that but he will not survive me.
"I expect nothing but tough fights at this point in my career. It helps me prepare better. Against Vic (Darchinyan), I fought a war. I'll do whatever I need to do.
"In December, I had to change my plan because of the cut (on my head). Depending on how the fight goes over the first few rounds, I'll adjust. I plan to box more this time but you never know.
"It would mean everything to get the IBF world title. Knowing you're the world champ, that's everything.
"It was frustrating at the time the first fight was called off. I was at the peak of my training and I can't lie, I'm human and I was very frustrated. It destroyed me a little bit, but then I regrouped and the more mature Abner prevailed. It's Joseph's health and that's serious. I'm glad he's better. I saw him at the press conference before the fight in April and he was weak and limping. I felt bad and realized that could have been me.
"I took three weeks off after the fight was called off and took my family vacation but I went right back to the gym when I got home and now I feel just as ready as last time, ready to be a world champ.
"Never in my short life did I think that I'd be sharing the stage with Don King. This is incredible.
"I want to be Mexico's 20th world champion. I made my dream come true when I went to the Olympics in 2004 and now I will make my dream come true of becoming a world champion.
"Thanks to SHOWTIME for showcasing me. Many people know who I am because my last two fights were on SHOWTIME."
Don King, Agbeko's Promoter:
"It's always a pleasure to be in Las Vegas. Thanks to Ken Hershman who chose to endure and conquer. This is more than a fight. It will be dedicated to W.E.B. DuBois. He died in '93 in Ghana and now the mantle has fallen on Joseph Agbeko. DuBois said in the 20th century color line is the biggest problem in America and now, King Kong will come down and beat on his chest and the elephants will come running. Mares will be Poncho Villa and Agbeko will win for his Ghanaian people. This is a fight for unity, solidarity and togetherness.
"I like Mares but it's going to be a day for Joseph. You've got to be there on the scene. If you can't, check it out on the screen. This fight is a statement. We're part of history, and sorry Abner, to be a part of history, one must be sacrificed.
"Not only did Agbeko defeat something I can't pronounce (Sciatica) but he will defeat Abner Mares this August 13 and we'll be going on to better things.
"This is a great tournament. SHOWTIME has been a vanguard for fighting for what is right."
David Itskowitch, Golden Boy Promotions COO and Mares' Promoter:
"I'm excited about this event, the Final of The Bantamweight Tournament.
"The first round was a great one and Saturday, Aug. 13, live on SHOWTIME at The Joint, we'll have a great ending. Tickets are very reasonable, starting at $25. You can get tickets at the Hard Rock box office and Ticketmaster.com.
"When Abner wins this fight on Aug. 13, he will be the first fighter to have his pro debut all the way through winning a world championship with Golden Boy. It's been quite a journey. I'm proud to know him. He is a family man and an example for all athletes. He got here by winning a great knock-down, drag-out fight against Vic Darchinyan and the Final should be just as exciting.
"The Joint is a great place to see a fight. It's a fun spot. There's not a bad seat in the house.
"This fight would not be happening without SHOWTIME. I want to thank Ken Hershman. We hit a bump in the road with this tournament but Ken stuck with it. He has a lot of experience in persevering like he has in the Super Six. Thanks to Gordon Hall, David Dinkins (Jr.), Chris DeBlasio and the entire team that kept everything together."
The world championship fight is promoted by Don King Productions and Golden Boy Promotions and is sponsored by Corona.
Tickets, priced at $200, $100, $75, $50 and $25, along with a limited number of VIP suite seats priced at $150, are on sale now and may be purchased at the Hard Rock Hotel Box Office, all Ticketmaster locations, online at www.Ticketmaster.com or by phone at (800) 745-3000.
For more information, visit www.donking.com or www.goldenboypromotions.com, become a fan on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GoldenBoyBoxing or follow the event on twitter at www.twitter.com/GoldenBoyBoxing or www.twitter.com/abnermares00.
For information on SHOWTIME Sports Programming, including exclusive behind-the-scenes video and photo galleries, complete telecast information and more, please go the new SHOWTIME Sports website athttp://sports.sho.com/.
About Don King Productions:
Don King Productions has promoted over 600 world championship fights with nearly 100 individual boxers having been paid $1 million or more. DKP also holds the distinction of having promoted or co-promoted seven of the 10 largest pay-per-view events in history, as gauged by total buys, including three of the top five: Holyfield vs. Tyson II, 1.99 million buys, June 1997; Tyson vs. Holyfield I, 1.6 million buys, November 1996; and Tyson vs. McNeeley, 1.58 million buys, August 1995.
DKP has promoted or co-promoted 11 of the top 20 highest-grossing live gates in the history of the state of Nevada including five of the top seven: Holyfield vs. Lewis II, paid attendance: 17,078, gross: $16,860,300 (NOTE: Also second-highest live-gate gross for any event in the history of the world.), date: Nov. 13, 1999; Holyfield vs. Tyson II, paid attendance: 16,279, gross: $14,277,200, date: June 28, 1997; Holyfield vs. Tyson I, paid attendance: 16,103, gross: $14,150,700, date: Nov. 9, 1996; Tyson vs. McNeeley, paid attendance: 16,113, gross: $13,965,600, date: Aug. 19, 1995; and Trinidad vs. De La Hoya, paid attendance: 11,184, gross: $12, 949, 500. Sept. 18, 1999.
About Golden Boy Promotions:
Los Angeles-based Golden Boy Promotions was established in 2002 by Oscar de la Hoya, the first Hispanic to own a national boxing promotional company. In 2007, in its fifth year of promoting, Golden Boy Promotions set a record by selling over 2.5 million in pay-per-view homes in a single night. Also in 2007, Golden Boy Promotions established the record for highest grossing pay-per-view homes in a single year with more than 4 million total. In 2009, the company broke records again by breaking the million mark in pay-per-view homes again with the return of Floyd Mayweather. Golden Boy Promotions is one of boxing's most active and respected promoters, presenting shows in packed venues around the United States and the world on networks such as HBO, HBO Latino, HBO Plus, SHOWTIME, TeleFutura, Televisa, ESPN2 and Fox Sports Net.
Golden Boy Promotions currently has over 70 fighters under contract, from future Hall of Famer Bernard Hopkins to current world champions and superstars Saul Alvarez, Robert Guerrero, David Haye, Chris John, Amir Khan, Marcos Maidana and Victor Ortiz. Also included on the company's roster are top contenders Librado Andrade, Erislandy Lara, Abner Mares, Daniel Ponce De Leon and Peter Quillin as well as highly regarded prospects Adrien Broner, Danny Garcia, Frankie Gomez, Seth Mitchell, Carlos Velasquez and Deontay Wilder.
About Showtime Networks Inc.:
Showtime Networks Inc. (SNI), a wholly-owned subsidiary of CBS Corporation, owns and operates the premium television networks SHOWTIME®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ and FLIX®, as well as the multiplex channels SHOWTIME 2™, SHOWTIME® SHOWCASE, SHOWTIME EXTREME®, SHOWTIME BEYOND®, SHOWTIME NEXT®, SHOWTIME WOMEN®, SHOWTIME FAMILY ZONE® and THE MOVIE CHANNEL™ XTRA. SNI also offers SHOWTIME HD™, SHOWTIME 2 HD™, THE MOVIE CHANNEL HD™, SHOWTIME ON DEMAND®, THE MOVIE CHANNEL ON DEMAND™ and FLIX ON DEMAND®. SNI also manages Smithsonian Channel™, a joint venture between SNI and the Smithsonian Institution. All SNI feeds provide enhanced sound using Dolby Digital 5.1. SNI markets and distributes sports and entertainment events for exhibition to subscribers on a pay-per-view basis through SHOWTIME PPV®.
About Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Las Vegas:
Hard Rock Hotel & Casino is a premier destination entertainment resort in Las Vegas, owned by Brookfield Real Estate Finance Fund II, a division of Brookfield Asset Management (NYSE: BAM) and managed by WG-Harmon, LLC, a subsidiary of Warner Gaming, LLC. Built in 1995, the property completed a $750 million expansion in 2010. Hard Rock Hotel & Casino offers an energetic entertainment and gaming experience with the services and amenities associated with a boutique luxury resort hotel. The property is known for its innovative nightlife and music scene where acts such as The Rolling Stones, Bon Jovi, Paul McCartney, Incubus, Linkin Park, Foo Fighters and The Killers have all performed. Features of the property include an 11-story Hard Rock Hotel tower with 640 guest rooms, 17-story Paradise Tower with 490 rooms and suites and the all-suite HRH Tower with 359 suites, eight spa villas and seven penthouse suites; 72,000 square feet of casino space; 80,000 square feet of flexible meeting and convention space; the luxurious Vanity Nightclub; Reliquary Water Sanctuary & Spa; Reliquary Salon; 4.8 acres of tropical pool paradise; REHAB, the trendsetting Sunday afternoon pool party; The Joint concert venue; Hart & Huntington Tattoo Co.; restaurants including Rare 120 steakhouse, the Tuscan-style Italian eatery AGO, world-renowned Nobu, Johnny Smalls, Pink Taco and Mr. Lucky's 24/7 diner; numerous cocktail lounges; several retail stores; and a state-of-the-art Fitness Center. For room availability and additional information call 800.HRD.ROCK (800.473.7625) or visit www.hardrockhotel.com.
Alan Hopper, Don King Productions, (954) 418-5839
Monica Sears/Ramiro Gonzalez, Golden Boy Promotions, (213) 489-5631
Bill Caplan, Golden Boy Promotions, (818) 831-0046 (O)/(818) 515-1616 (C)
Chris DeBlasio, Showtime Networks Inc., (212) 708-1633, Chris.DeBlasio@Showtime.net
Annie Van Tornhout,Showtime Networks Inc., (212) 708-1663, Annie.VanTornhout@Showtime.net
Chris Legentil,Showtime Networks Inc., (212) 708-7319,Chris.Legentil@Showtime.net
John Beyrooty, Brener Zwikel & Assoc., (562) 233-7477, JohnnyBey@aol.com
Steve Pratt, Brener Zwikel & Assoc., (818) 462-5602, SteveP@bzapr.com
Cherryl Kaopua, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino: (702) 693-5537
Media Credentials, BZA: email@example.com